Character: Aragorn and OFC
Source: Pre-Ring War
Disclaimer: Tolkien hinted of other journeys – Kortirion filled in a blank to/for her own satisfaction.
The turbaned jeweller accepted the ceremonial dagger with slightly too much alacrity; Aragorn suspected he could have bargained for more. Still, time had slipped by; he’d slipped into compliance – now he must shake off the cobwebs. He’d gold for horses and supplies, the dagger re-hilted in plain brass and leather… and a gift.
Aragorn’s planned two-year Southern adventure had slipped into over three. The Quahn’s generosity, jewelled dagger, position in his household guard, and a concubine, were gifts for saving his life from a lion.
Alas, she’d thought herself sadly under-used… a parting gift seemed the least Aragorn could do…
The jeweller’s gold bought two fine bay geldings, some good leather harness, not as plain as he’d have liked, but everything here brimmed with ornament, from saddles to furniture… even women’s hair. Aragorn hadn’t seen such elaborate dressing before, even elvish plaiting paled into insignificance… and the time it took – that he struggled with, especially when he found he also was expected to be highly groomed when he walked alongside the Quahn.
The cobweb-fine mesh of gold chains veiled her face like any respectable lady. She was overjoyed… this jewel, worn from nose-ring to earring, represented trust… and a dowry.
She pressed her thanks in the manner she knew best, succeeding in delaying him one final afternoon longer between her Master’s silken sheets… when she woke, she found the wash-cloths used and nothing left but the smell of sandalwood and new leather.
The Northman had been good as his word; she was released from service. Judicious bartering of a few strands of her veil secured lodgings, and time enough to catch a husband.
Years later came news, great northern battles, the tyrant overthrown… By now her face was cobwebbed with wrinkles… she wondered idly if her Northman had fought too…